All business leaders feel pressure on their shoulders throughout their careers. Whether it’s due to their expectations, the expectations of their colleagues, or frankly …
Healing People & Souls | Chelsea Haverly
Chelsea Haverly’s intention in starting her business, with the support of an amazing co-owner and friend, Christine Coyle, was to create an environment where helping the community and helping others is grounded in business practices and a transparent work culture that is authentic and sustainable.
She has intentionally cultivated a curious stance in her work and life. She runs Anchored Hope Therapy with a growth mindset and believes that leaders must practice what they preach to others.
“I believe strong leaders need to be anchored and regulated in their bodies and minds. I need to be able to hear feedback, both positive and negative, through a filter of curiosity. This avoids defensiveness in order to show up as a human, who will inevitably makes mistakes. We need to be able to own them vs. remaining stuck in a fixed mindset. As my grandmother would say, Flexibility is key.”
The steadfast leader’s goal in creating Anchored Hope Therapy was to make a sustainable model for helping the community, the clients, and the practitioner in ensuring their wellness is attended to first.
“I fiercely believe that you cannot help others if you are not first helping yourself. I believe in supporting therapists to manage reasonable caseloads, to engage in regular time off that cultivates joy and play, to support healthy work life boundaries and to say ‘No’ without guilt regularly,” she explains.“Society often glorifies the busy, overworked, stressed, “grind” culture worker. I believe you can help and care for others and be an impeccable human with a big heart AND hold boundaries to care for yourself.”
She and her team are intentionally working to rehumanize therapy and remove stigma and reconnect to self and business practices with purpose at Anchored Hope. This process has been called decolonizing, and this process also includes internal work. With both personal and professional self-reflection on how they are upholding systems of harm, they are figuring out ways to dismantle/challenge themselves to do better, while still working in systems that are not trauma-informed and not safe or accessible to all people.
“I believe a business should attend to the whole person. I believe that a people over profit model is necessary in responsible and sustainable business practices. I want to know what my team is celebrating, what they are struggling with, and what they need to show up and feel supported,” elucidates Chelsea.
Chelsea believes in community collaboration and collective healing. Anyone starting their business and looking to discuss and support cross-practice collaboration is highly encouraged to connect with her locally and across the state. Part of Christine and Chelsea’s philosophy as parents and business owners is that supporting working mothers/parents in sustainable practices that make sense for their families is key to the success of their practice and others.
Being a board-approved supervisor for both social workers and professional counselors, Chelsea focuses on somatic and supportive supervision efforts for newly licensed providers, who are brand new to the field, about self-care and sustainable practices. Hustle culture and overworking to “earn your place” in the field needs to be challenged and pushed back against. “You can be a great provider, and an inspiring leader, without sacrificing yourself, your health and your family time. We must look at leadership development as a marathon and not a sprint.”
Chelsea has also created a state-wide Human Trafficking Clinician Collaborative (HTCC) as the lead trauma trainer on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, Victim Service Subcommittee. She has been a trauma trainer and task force partner since 2011. This collaborative is to support trained trauma therapists in implementing evidence-based, peer-supported, and survivor-informed interventions and ensuring that the providers in the field, committed to survivor care, will be around to help survivors in 10 years and beyond and not burnout.
The pioneering leader advises everyone to listen to their body because burning out can easily result in long-term issues. “I’m passionate about supporting others to avoid full system crashes like I experienced. I pushed myself too hard and operated in a way that was unsustainable for many years,” she says. “I got here today and I am incredibly proud. I also need immune system medication support and have a holistic team of providers supporting my health plan that I may not have needed in my earlier 30’s if I had taken better care of myself earlier. You only have one body, treat it well.”
Chelsea says, “today, we know so much more about trauma and the body than we did even 5 years ago. Traditional talk therapy, which is sometimes called “top-down processing” can be helpful for some, but it negates that our bodies are the filter to our experiences. When we experience stress, our bodies physiologically respond. Somatic therapies support body-oriented healing that supports us in not just “thinking about what happened” but alsoallowing our bodies’ sensations and wisdom to guide the healing process. This type of therapy is often called “bottom-up processing”. The research of Resmaa Menakem talks explicitly about the wisdom of the body and the power of using a settled and regulated body to heal not just ourselves, but the world. Our bodies inherent wisdom and ancestral knowledge can be used to heal racialized trauma and collective trauma through embodied healing practices
Resmaa’s book, “My Grandmother’s Hands”, is perhaps the most impactful book on healing our nervous systems and collective pain. Other research connected to supporting our bodies and blending somatic healing approaches involves Stephen Porges work on Polyvagal Theory. Porges notes that “trauma compromises our ability to engage with others by replacing patterns of connection with patterns of protection”. The body cannot be ignored as a key part of healing. We are committed to learning and growing with neuroscience to adjust our practices to best support nervous system regulation and collective co-regulation. We work closely with community partners who support somatic healing practices like craniosacral therapy, energy healing, acupuncture, and reiki. Chelsea has partnered with a colleague, Emily Young, and has co-created a Trauma-Informed Personal Trainer (TI-PT) Certification to support personal trainers approaching their clients through a trauma lens. They believe if you work with bodies, you work with trauma.
Anchored Hope Therapy was created to support the community and create a space for therapists to feel a sense of home to grow and develop sustainable practices and implement high-quality integrated trauma therapy. In 2019, Chelsea developed a training company to support the work of Anchored Hope to a larger population of professionals. Hope Ignited Training opened in 2019 and she provides trauma-informed business consulting, professional consulting, professional training, and expert consultation on complex trauma. Hope Ignited consults with state and federal agencies on compassion fatigue prevention, trauma-informed principles for sustainable business practices, and works with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Victim Service Subcommittee on developing and sustaining their training programs for mental health providers. When a survivor needs trauma-informed services for therapy, the Human Trafficking Clinician Collaborative, a group of 207 therapists across the state, can support referrals to meet the needs of this request. Building this collaboration and maintaining partnerships with state and federal agencies across the country and maintaining networking connections even amidst a pandemic is no small thing. “The relationships and referrals cultivated over a decade to support survivors of complex trauma and human trafficking is by far my greatest accomplishment. Without this network and my partnerships with larger systems across the state and country, I would not be able to be as successful as I am today.”
“I truly believe that businesses that are in the business of helping others need to care for themselves and those that work for them as part of a functioning system.”
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